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NHS ‘Fight Back’ advert

Agency: Rankin and Chris

Client: NHS

NHS Birmingham East and North (BEN), is launching a month-long campaign to increase awareness of the risks of drinking to excess, and offer simple advice on how to stay on the right side of drunk.

The campaign, created by Dr Foster Intelligence in partnership with NHS Birmingham East and North, involves a combination of postcards, posters, street installations, local PR, ambient media and handouts of pizza and water.

Accompanying activity will be an impactful film directed by Rankin and Chris, who both offered their time for free. The pair previously put their weight behind the ‘Fight Back’ quit smoking campaign last autumn to great effect, with a film highlighting the damage smoking does to your insides.

This new film shows the repercussions of getting too drunk, on what can often start off as a normal night out.

According to Dr Foster research, most people claim to understand the dangers of drinking to excess, but see it as normal, acceptable behaviour, and resent being told otherwise.

To avoid alienating this group the campaign does not focus on asking people to drink less. Taking a unique stance, NHS BEN instead concentrates on how becoming paralytic allows ‘another you to take over,’ and offers practical tips on how to stay on the right side of drunk.

Targeting men and women aged 16-30 living in the most deprived areas of east and north Birmingham, the campaign’s initial phase involves teaser materials distributed at local shops to begin raising awareness and the launch of a website –

The campaign will get further underway with posters and on-mirror signs, displayed in toilets in popular bars, pubs and clubs and remain there for the duration of the campaign.

Street installations representing the things that can go wrong when a person is out-of-control drunk will follow. Set up in two locations chosen for their large amount of bars, the installations include an overturned car, a bloody pavement and a smashed window.

During the final weekends of the month-long campaign, the message switches from one of warning to one of practical advice.

Understanding that the simple addition of food and water greatly reduces the risk of becoming paralytic on a night out, Dr Foster and NHS BEN will be handing out pizza and water as an example of how to stay on the right side of drunk.

All activity will drive locals to the website, which features a set of real-life confessional films told by local residents, explaining what happened when they were out-of-control drunk.

The stories include a woman who was assaulted and lost her front teeth, and a man who was put in prison for drunk driving. Having seen why they should avoid getting paralytic, visitors to the site will also find more information and tips on how to attain a balance, as well as background on the serious long-term effects. The site also aims to engage people by asking them to contribute their own stories.

“We realise that excessive drinking is a problem across east and north Birmingham, but know we can’t ask people to stop drinking all together,” said Director of Health Improvement NHS Birmingham East and North, Nicola Benge.

“We wanted to give people easy ways to remain more in control and hopefully reduce the damage and pain that can be caused by becoming too drunk. This is part of the Trust’s initiative to help people take better care of themselves now and reducing unnecessary A&E treatments whenever possible.”

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